World briefing

Austrian accused of fathering 7 with imprisoned daughter charged with murder VIENNA, Austria (AP) âÄî Prosecutors filed a murder charge Thursday against the man accused of imprisoning his daughter for 24 years in a rat-infested cell and fathering her seven children, saying one of the youngsters who died in infancy might have survived if brought to a doctor. Josef Fritzl âÄúdeliberately decided not to interveneâÄù and save the infant boyâÄôs life, said the indictment, which also charges the 73-year-old retired electrician with rape, incest, false imprisonment and enslavement. Officials said they expected Fritzl to go on trial in March. He faces up to life imprisonment if convicted of the murder charge. Austria, like other European countries, does not have the death penalty. FritzlâÄôs lawyer, Rudolf Mayer, told reporters he would not appeal the charges. Investigators say Fritzl has confessed to imprisoning and repeatedly raping his daughter Elisabeth âÄî now age 42 âÄî in a warren of soundproofed, windowless cellar rooms he built beneath his home starting in 1984, shortly after she turned 18. Britain backs extra troops for Congo NEW YORK (AP) âÄî British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Thursday he will support a U.N. plan to send 3,000 more troops to Congo but said the force must have better leadership and equipment. The U.N. has a 17,000-strong peacekeeping force in Congo, its largest in the world. However, officials have said more are needed to stop civilian deaths. Brown arrived in New York Thursday ahead of weekend talks in Washington on the global financial crisis. He will meet U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to discuss the escalation in violence in Congo, where civilian deaths have mounted and a cease-fire between government and rebel forces has broken down. Years of sporadic violence in eastern Congo intensified in August, and fighting between the army and fighters loyal to rebel leader Laurent Nkunda has displaced at least 250,000 people since then âÄî despite the presence of the U.N. peacekeeping force. There are fears the country could slide back into a ruinous war such as the one in 1998-2002 that drew in more than half a dozen African nations and tore Congo into rival fiefdoms. Rebels backed by Uganda and Rwanda seized vast swaths of territory rich in coffee, gold and tin in the east, while Angola and Zimbabwe, sent tanks and fighter planes to back CongoâÄôs government in exchange for access to lucrative diamond and copper mines to the south and west. Eastern Congo has been unstable since millions of refugees spilled across the border from RwandaâÄôs 1994 genocide, which saw more than 500,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus slaughtered. Many of the Hutu extremists who orchestrated the mass killings have remained in Congo, prompting Tutsi-led Rwanda to invade the mineral-rich nation twice. Nkunda, who quit CongoâÄôs army in 2004, claims he is fighting to protect Tutsis, who like Hutus are a minority and one of an estimated 200 ethnic groups in Congo. U.S. defeats Iceland in 1st Chess Olympiad round DRESDEN, Germany (AP) âÄî The United States menâÄôs team opened the 38th Chess Olympiad on Thursday by squeaking past the much weaker Icelandic team 2.5-1.5 in the first round of the 13-day tournament. This yearâÄôs tournament is being scored for the first time by match points âÄî with game points used as the tiebreakers âÄî meaning that a such a score was not a setback to the 10th-ranked U.S. team. On board one, Gata Kamsky of Brooklyn drew with grandmaster Hannes Stefansson. Kamsky equalized with careful defense in the Breyer Variation of the Ruy Lopez, but once the queenside pawns were liquidated, neither side had anything left to play for. On second board, Alexander Onischuk of Baltimore slowly squeezed grandmaster Hedinn Steingrimsson until he coughed up two pawns in the endgame. Henrik Danielsen on board three combined threats against the enemy king with a passed pawn on the queenside to defeat Yuri Shulman of Chicago. On the bottom board, Varuzhan Akobian of Los Angeles picked up a pawn in the opening against international master Stefan Kristjansson and nursed it to victory in the endgame. In the womenâÄôs competition the U.S. was playing Montenegro. Some 154 teams are competing in the open division âÄî often referred to as the menâÄôs division, even though it includes a few women âÄî and 116 in a separate womenâÄôs division. Military: civilian cargo aircraft crashes in Iraq BAGHDAD (AP) âÄî A cargo plane chartered by FedEx crashed Thursday west of Baghdad after reporting a malfunction, the U.S. military said. It ruled out hostile fire and said the crew was presumed dead. The Russian-made An-12 plane with up to seven crew members âÄî none of them American âÄî was flying from al-Asad air base to Baghdad International Airport when it lost radio contact and crashed around 11:35 a.m., the military said. The crash happened south of Fallujah, where insurgents once held sway. The military said mechanical failure or pilot error was the likely cause, but declined to elaborate. The military also secured the crash site. âÄúIt looks like everybody was lost but I canâÄôt confirm that. The investigation will determine that,âÄù U.S. military spokesman Capt. Charles Calio said. Iraqi police in Fallujah said no shooting was reported at the time of the crash. In a statement, FedEx said it was aware that an aircraft operated by one of its contractors to carry FedEx Express cargo could not be located on radar and had been out of radio contact since 10:45 a.m. âÄúFedEx is closely monitoring the situation and is working with the contractor to investigate the situation,âÄù the statement said. âÄúOur foremost priority is the safety and welfare of the pilot and crew.âÄù The U.S. logistics company said the aircraft had originally come from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.